Bremerton, WA – Kitsap County will celebrate our diverse community in Bremerton’s Evergreen Park on Saturday, July 21st 2007, from noon until 5 p.m. People that are young and old, black and white, gay and straight, single and partnered, and more, will gather to celebrate how far we have come and to gear up for the work yet to be done. Entertainment, vendors and fun will fill the day as we celebrate Kitsap’s unique lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
This is the third year that Kitsap Pride is in Evergreen Park. Before that it was held on private property. This is a public event, and there is no charge. However, donations would of course be welcomed. The 2007 worldwide InterPride theme – United For Equality – is “completely appropriate for this year’s Kitsap Pride.” Says Michael Goodnow, one of the organizers of this event. Previously Kitsap Pride was the responsibility of one local organization, but this year a network of Kitsap County non-profit organizations have come together as the Kitsap Pride Network to put on the event. The involved organizations include: AIDS Walk Kitsap, Kitsap HIV AIDS Foundation, Kitsap Safe Schools Network, Kitsap Q Youth, OUTKITSAP Positive Solutions, Kitsap chapter of PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), and Pride Foundation Washington Peninsula.
According to Marcie Mathis, another organizer of the event, “The theme of United For Equality is also applicable to rallying around the equality work left to do.” One issue that affects many in Kitsap County is the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. The Kitsap Pride vendors include the Servicemember’s Legal Defense Network (SLDN) and American Veterans for Equal Rights (AVER) and they will have information about the status of the repeal, and about what each of us can do to support gays and lesbians in the military.
Two of the steps toward equality that Kitsap Pride will be celebrating are the Washington State Domestic Partnership Registration, which begins Monday July 23rd, and the non-discrimination law in Washington State. However, not all Kitsap County residents will be able to benefit from these new laws – Couples with one or both members in the military will not be able to register their partnership without violating Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and the Washington State non-discrimination law does not protect the Federal employees here.
Information about how the Domestic Partnership Registration will work and what it means will be available at Kitsap Pride.
Other weekend Pride events include a Saturday evening dance, and brunch at Augustino’s near Evergreen Park. The Kitsap Unitarian Universalist Fellowship is also having a special Pride service on Sunday July 22nd at 10:00 am.
Pride events are held all over the world around the end of June to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall riots on June 28, 1969 that many consider the beginning of the current GLBT rights movement.
The Kitsap Pride Network is a coalition of Kitsap County non-profit organizations that support, and are allies of, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community of Kitsap County.